NEWS

Force will not solve the problem of Iran

Prime minister of Pakistan since August 2004, Shaukat Aziz knows Greece well, since he once worked here as a Citibank executive. Finance minister since 1999 (a post he continues to hold), Aziz has been credited to a large extent with the distinct improvement in Pakistan’s economy in the past few years. In an interview with Kathimerini, Aziz emphasized the opportunities for developing Greek trade and investment initiatives in Pakistan, especially in agriculture and shipping. As premier of a country of great geopolitical importance for security and stability in the Persian Gulf and central Asia, Aziz commented on the crisis arising from Iran’s nuclear program and ongoing instability in Afghanistan. He noted that Pakistan would like to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which it and Iran are currently observers. The target of a suicide bomb attempt in 2004 that was attributed to al-Qaida, Aziz said that no one knows where Osama bin Laden is, and responds to criticism of his country’s involvement in the «war on terror.» Commenting on the 28 Pakistanis who were allegedly kidnapped in Athens, Aziz said, «Our ambassador is in touch with the Greek government» and expressed his confidence that Greek justice would get to the bottom of the matter.